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catalinasgrace

I'm not sure exactly what is happening

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Please have a little patience with me as this is our first 3D printer and I'll try to explain what is going on the best that I can.

We got the printer a couple of days ago and of course did a test print. It worked fine so we test printed one of our models and it worked fine as well. So we installed the software that we were directed to in the manual as we wanted to turn the quality to high on the print. The software also stated that we needed to update the firmware on the printer. So we did...

After that we have yet to actually finish a single print... About an hour into the print we started hearing a loud click from the back where the feeder is located and the PLA that came with the printer is either being flattened or the gear the pulls the PLA is grinding away at the PLA and it will not forward any material.

We have removed the material multiple times and cut the bad part off then reloaded the material for another attempt only to have the same thing happen. We have tried everything that the manual says to do but with the same results in the end.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

 

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Print settings would be helpful to know.

Also, when you removed the failed bit, did you also clean the little knurled sleeve that bites into and moves the filament? A hardy blow and/or some scrubbing with a toothbrush should be enough to clean it. If it's clogged up with plastic it will not be able to grip the filament properly.

 

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About an hour into the print we started hearing a loud click from the back where the feeder is located and the PLA that came with the printer is either being flattened or the gear the pulls the PLA is grinding away at the PLA and it will not forward any material.

 

There's a few possible problems. For one thing you might just be printing too fast and/or too cold. Try 50mm/sec and 220C. In general stay at 1/2 the speed of the dark blue line here (it depends on layer thickness and temperature):

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/4127-um2-extrusion-rates-revisited/

The loud clicking sound at the back is the feeder missing steps. This is on purpose - by design. The idea is if the pressure gets too high in the head because you are printing too fast or cold then it's better to skip steps then to grind the filament. Unfortunately you have grinding *anyway*.

So again, 220C at 50mm should fix the skipping problem.

As far as your filament getting squished flat - this is possibly more serious. The glass temp of PLA is around 50C which is a comfortable hot tub temperature. I recommend just to "get a feel for it" that you take a few inches of filament and boil some water in the microwave then take the water out and dip the filament in the hot water (now probably at 80C) for about 10 or 20 seconds. Take the filament out and play with it - bend it - squish it. Until it hardens.

Now to the fix - this is a recent problem on some printers. One fix is to crank the AC. My bed and nozzle are at 20C room temp when I haven't used the printer in a few hours. What's your room temp? The other fix is to remove the back left metal cover that hides the 2 steppers back there. It is held in by only 2 screws - very easy to remove. Then use a table fan and place it in front of the UM2 aiming the air flow at the stepper. That can improve things greatly!

UM is working on other fixes but these 2 fixes work fine for even room temps at 90F (35C)!

 

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also our house stays about 75F so it isn't hot in here at all.

 

Yeah I think the problem can occur even at 70F for certain printers. No one really knows why yet. And I'm prety sure they aren't investigating but instead have an experimental alternate feeder design that keeps heat away from the filament. I don't know if they will ever release the alternate design though. Not enough people have had the problem yet to make it a major focus. There are higher priorities right now for engineering at UM.

The light blue filament is said to be their worst filament. Although I like it quite a bit. It has a great look to it and shows flaws nicely so it's good for making test prints. I think my most beautiful prints ever were all done in that filament. Yet I have to agree, all the other colors have better results. I think it softens at a lower temp then most of the other colors also although I don't have much evidence for that - never did any glass-temp tests.

 

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I have tried your settings of a temp of 220c along with the flow. However the same exact problem still occurs about 2 hours into the print. It will be printing fine, it looks great, then out of nowhere the feeder starts clicking, it will retract the filament, feed it again and click. This just happens over and over until I abort the printer. All while the extruder head is trying to print as usual but empty.

I guess I forgot to add that I'm using a brand new ultimaker2

I am posting a link to a (really bad) photo by url as I cannot get the image to work through the forums.

http://www.throughheavenseyes.com/mystuff/fillament_photo.jpg

 

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It sounds like a nozzle clog. Maybe dust? Try cleaning out the head 2 to 5 times using the "atomic method":

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/4118-blocked-nozzle/?p=33691

Also I strongly recommend you put the filament on the floor so that the angle of filament entering the feeder isn't too tilted which causes several pounds of extra friction:

spool On floor

 

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Is it the same model(s) that you successfully printed that is now failing - and are you using exactly the same settings you used when the model was printed successfully?

If so then I do agree with you that it is suspicious that a problem not experienced before has arisen immediately after a firmware update.

It could though be the filament; have you tried measuring the width of the filament along a metre or two of length.

It may well be advisable for you to get a different filament and see if the problem persists.

 

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Well, I have given this a while to try to sort it out. I have tried everything talked about here, other "similar" issues on this forum and I have tried things I have found on other websites. Nothing has helped the issue I'm having, and it continues to happen. The problem we are having is about the only thing that has been consistent since I have gotten the printer... lol... We have only managed to print 2 successful prints out of almost the entire spool that came with the printer. Everything other print has failed midway or longer into the print. We fix the filament and the next print might or might not work. We have tried different models, we have tried models built to print on the UM2 just in case. The same thing happens...

 

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Something else we have started to notice is during the print the extruder head will move and it sounds like gears or the belts are slipping. They are making a fast grinding noise and then it goes back to sounding normal. Is this a normal thing to hear? I mean it's loud, and not something that I would expect to hear to be honest.

 

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Could you also please post pictures of your prints so far? Even though you say they all fail the same way I'd like to see the quality up to the failure point and see other things. Like do they fail more at the same time or at the same height? Are there other issues visible... stuff like that. I've been reading this forum for 2 years now so I've probably seen it all.

And finally did you try the fan thing I posted about? Or at least look at the filament inside the extruder? Was it flatened at all? Stripped? ground down? anything? how was the "tread"?

 

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I will see about getting some photos for you of the prints we have tried thus far. However I think my wife and thrown away all but the last one we tried. There doesn't seem to be an exact pattern of happening at the same time/length of print. Some prints have happened straight away and others didn't happen until about 3-4 hours into the print.

The last print we did we had gone out so I'm not sure exactly at what point it happened, but it looks like it had tried to go past the problem and tried to continue on with the print but it didn't go so well.

As far as removing the panel I have not done that yet for a couple of reasons. One I have yet to find anywhere on the printer that only two screws would remove anything, and second this is a brand new printer and I honestly do not want to void any kind of warranty incase this has to be replaced.

In the photo below is at one point where the loud clicking starts from the feeder and you can see the results...

testprint.jpg

 

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Is the printer running the newest firmware?

also for Grus sake if you could post a photo of the filament (with marks) to see if you have too little or too much pressure pushing on the filament. (The knurled area).

When I was having similar issues. I had to run about 35mm/s or less for it to work. Then I modified the feeder system and ptfe where I was able to increase the speeds.

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On the ultimakers you can open it up it won't change anything about the warranty ;)

I would like to know what the printing settings are?

And if maybe the filament is tangled up when this happens?

What is the version of Cura and Firmware that you installed?

Do the test files (like the um robot on the sd card) fail too?

 

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I had posted a photo towards the top of the thread by a link... the forum would not let me link directly to the photo of the filament. Those in that photo are very short spots compared to the last few times it happened.

The settings are default right now with the filament that came with the printer. I tried all the settings suggested above in this thread as well with the same results.

Cura is 14.09 and I'm not 100% on the firmware, it asked me to update them when I first plugged it in and I did... After that all of these problems seemed to start.

 

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1) The corner panels are very easy to remove. Where the edges touch the side walls of the printer each edge has one threaded hole to receive a screw. On the outside of the printer there is one screw lined up perfectly with each edge - those come out in seconds and the panel is now loose. The entire printer is designed to come apart easily. It's kind of the opposite of most modern equipment. Ultimaker's history is about printers that are easy to take apart and fix. The only part that may violate warranty is clearly marked with a sticker (the print bed connector).

2) Has it been warm in texas at all lately? Do you run it in an air conditioned environment? I'm still thinking this is a heat problem but there are other possibilities. Many people have had heat issues - they tend to happen 30 to 300 minutes after starting the print. So taking off the back-left cover and having a fan blow at the stepper motors might fix the whole issue - then we can think about what to do next so you don't have to always run the printer like that.

3) Your print seemed to have a ton of infill. What infill % did you use? Usually zero infill is enough for prints of people's heads if you do shell thickness of 1.2mm although 20% is an okay compromise.

 

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Those in that photo are very short spots compared to the last few times it happened.

 

 

Ah. Okay. Well if those 2 short spots were about 5 inches long then I'd say you definitely have the "heat" issue. The left side of the filament looks perfectly normal after going through the feeder but those flat spots will get stuck in the bowden tube when they move along a bit further. Retractions tend to make the issue worse because then the same bit of filament goes through the feeder more than once.

 

fillament_photo.jpg

75F (24C) is a bit warm. But it does get that hot in my house occasionally. Still I'm thinking more and more it's the "heat" problem. One woman with this problem - her house was 30C (86F)! The fan thing worked great for her.

Also this particular blue filament I believe softens at a bit lower temperature.

For some reason this is much more of a problem for some people than others. I don't know if UM is shipping a new brand of stepper? Or the electronics or firmware changed slightly?

 

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